Hong Kong stresses need for ‘data ethics’ for fintech firms

Financial regulator says institutions must adopt multi-sectoral ethical accountability framework

Hong Kong stresses need for ‘data ethics’ for fintech firms

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is urging financial institutions to ensure that consumers’ privacy is respected during the collection and use of their personal data.

In a circular dated May 03, the HKMA reached out to all authorised institutions to adopt the Ethical Accountability Framework, which was developed by the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) in October 2018. The framework was developed with the help of around 20 organisations in Hong Kong, hailing from various sectors such as insurance, banking, healthcare, transportation, and telecommunications.

The framework promotes the ethical and fair processing of personal data, taking into account advanced technological developments such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. It seeks to foster a culture of ethical data governance and address the risks to personal data privacy brought about by technology.

As part of the its efforts to promote data ethics, the HKMA and the Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB) organised a seminar where PCPD head Stephen Kai-yi Wong discussed the framework and shared best practices, such as the “privacy by design” and “privacy by default” philosophies when developing fintech projects.

“The HKMA supports the concept of data ethics and stewardship in the context of collecting and using personal data. It encourages [authorised institutions] to adopt the framework and implement the models in the development of fintech products and services,” the circular said.

It added that further details about the framework and the models, as well as training programmes, can be found on the website of the PCPD.


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